Miss ABBA Makes Snow Angels; Defies Odds

Ten months and counting and it makes an inch of snow feel like you’ve won the lottery.  Rather cryptic, huh?

As you recall, in late March of last year I discovered a tumor on Miss ABBA that was unlike the “fatty tissue” tumors that are common in older, larger breed dogs.  I immediately made an appointment for ABBA to see her veterinarian, Dr. Scott Macon, the following Monday.

That examination confirmed it wasn’t a “fatty tissue” lump like the few others that ABBA had growing just under her skin for years.

The next morning, Dr. Macon was going to remove the cancerous tumor and we’d begin chemotherapy and radiation.  However, he called and told me the x-ray confirmed his suspicions that the cancer had already started metastasizing.  He could remove it, but since it had spread to the lymph nodes, it would be a painful process because it would require more surgery to remove the nodes, in addition to the chemo and radiation.

Those surgeries and the recovery would take place over several painful months and it might buy Miss ABBA another year.  Without surgery, chemo, and radiation, she would live about two to three months.

I made the painful decision to let it be and make sure she had the most enjoyable two to three months on top of the wonderful almost 11 years we had already shared together.

I watched her closely to see if I noticed the changes.  First, it would be heavy breathing as the cancer spread into the chest and lungs.  Other than the summer heat and humidity that caused us all to pant, I didn’t see any changes.

She made it to her 11th birthday in May and celebrated with us and Mr. Panda, the shar-pei from Chicago that we had for five months last year.  Summer turned into fall and in late October, ABBA went back to the vet to have another series of x-rays done to see how the cancer had progressed.

Great news!  The doctor said that the tumor from the typically aggressive form of cancer, anal sac adenocarcinoma, was not getting bigger and was not spreading.  The only down side was that the lumbar lymph nodes (near the back hips) were swelling and pushing onto the colon.  However, he said the colon had a lot of room to move around and as long as she continued to eat and poop, everything was good.

This past week, I called and asked if Miss ABBA should come back in for more x-rays since its been three months and he said if nothing has changed, wait until our typical early spring visit.

So, this long back story gets me around to the first line.

Miss ABBA loves to swim and she loves the snow.  After she was diagnosed, we had one more day in early April when a few big, wet snowflakes started falling.  While it didn’t stick, I was convinced that would be ABBA’s last snow.  I’m so glad I was wrong.

While this has been a very boring winter by Quad Cities’ standards with only 9″ of snow this season (typically, we should be close to 19″), Miss ABBA has enjoyed every snow.  Last night, only 0.9″ of snow covered the ground and you’d think we had a record snowfall.

Here’s a video of my little angel making her own snow angels.

And, check out this short video of her acrobatics and dismount in her own little snow dog Olympics.


15 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Joe Corman on January 28, 2012 at 10:17 am

    Amazing, Anthony. Miss ABBA Has quite possibly, the best owner, ever. Here’s to another year, or more. 🙂


  2. Joe,

    Thank you — to another year!.

    I think we’re both equally lucky!



  3. Posted by Mary Hall on January 28, 2012 at 10:31 am

    That is one cool dog !!!!! We had a 120 lb. choc. lab. that developed bone cancer. It wasn’t long and we lost him. I know how precious every day is. Enjoy them all !!!


  4. Posted by pamella king on January 28, 2012 at 10:33 am

    oh I love that puppy of yours!!!


  5. Posted by Margie Goodman on January 28, 2012 at 10:41 am

    I love seeing and reading about Miss Abba. Now, I get to watch videos too. Thank you so much for sharing the Wonderful Beautiful Dear Sweet Miss Abba with us. I look forward to seeing you and her on all of you post. Keep loving her as much as we all know that you do, that is what is keeping her here with you all. You are both lucky to have each other in your lives!!<3


    • Margie,

      We’ve been very blessed. I was going to make the best of the 2-3 months and now, we’ve all had ten months. Just as Gretel said the other, “it’s like she doesn’t even have cancer”. While I know the day will come, it doesn’t have to be any time soon.

      I’m glad you enjoyed the videos and the stories. 🙂



  6. Posted by cinchy on January 28, 2012 at 11:43 am

    Anthony I am so glad she is doing so well !!!
    The videos are great!
    Here is to another year or hopefully at least another 5 !!!


  7. Posted by Joanne on January 28, 2012 at 11:53 am

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this story and video!


  8. Posted by Kathy Markham McCoy on January 28, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    Aw geez, you always make me tear up with Miss ABBA stories! I remember my own precious baby (my shar pei bear coat “Lil’ King David”), & how cancer finally got him to the point where mama had to let him go. My heart soars whenever you get a good report on your furbaby, & I think of her every time it snows. Animals have such pure, loving souls & touch our lives in so many ways. What a sweetheart she is. 🙂


  9. You are a wonderful daddy to Miss Abba, she is lucky to have you , enjoy every waking moment you can with her. I lost a sweet dobie to cancer, she wasn’t even 3yrs old, it broke my heart. I still think of her, that was 7 yrs ago.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: